Most women who value style own, or would love to own, a designer handbag. Buying luxury handbags has even become an obsession for some – although an undeniably pleasurable and exciting obsession, which can be quite profitable for those make the right choices.
Whether you own a single Kelly bag and want to “trade up” to a Birkin, or your collection of name brand luxury purses has grown so large that it no longer fits into your bedroom, the good news is that the resale market for designer handbags has never been hotter. Some classic Chanel bags, for example, are now selling for almost double their original cost on the secondary market. And while most luxury purses do lose a portion of their value over time, you can wear many brand name bags for years and still recoup most of what you spent on them when you decide to sell.
The big question, of course, is what your designer handbag is worth. The only way to get a definitive answer is by finding a reputable and experienced company which does luxury handbag appraisals. That’s easier said than done.
Who Does Handbag Appraisals?
Truthfully, few people can properly appraise handbags. Boutiques, secondhand and consignment stores may say they can appraise a vintage bag, as will many pawnshops. And many of them can probably tell a knock-off from the real thing. However, there’s no way most would-be appraisers have the experience or knowledge to distinguish a Gucci GG classic tote from a GG classic top handle, or a Hermès 35cm Birkin bag with T stamp from a Hermès 40cm Togo bag (which is worth only half the price). You may think of bringing your purse to a Gucci or Hermès store, but they won’t appraise it for you even if they’re willing to authenticate it (and not all will).
Unless you happen to live near one of the few high-end luxury appraisers operating around the country, the only way to get a real, honest appraisal of a designer, vintage or antique handbag is to get an online handbag appraisal from a company like Luxury Buyers.
Our professionals have decades of experience and have appraised almost every model of purse from every major manufacturer. They know how to authenticate, evaluate and appraise every designer’s product from Louis Vuitton to Chanel, they are familiar with rare and valuable limited edition bags, and are intimately familiar with all Hermès purses, including all models of Birkin bags and Kelly bags. They can’t be fooled by imitations, they can immediately tell when a handbag is rare and desirable, and they have the specialized knowledge to be able to value unique antique or vintage items like pre-1920 Edwardian beaded bags, velvet handbags from the World War II era, or vintage 1980s Coach purses.
If you happen to own a rare gem without knowing its value, taking it to a secondhand store is a prescription for disaster – if you define disaster as “giving away a precious luxury item for a fraction of its value, because the appraiser had no idea what he was looking at.” The experienced handbag appraisals that we provide at Luxury Buyers ensures that will never happen to you.
What Is Involved In A Handbag Appraisal?
As we’ve mentioned, legitimate handbag appraisals aren’t easy to do. If you’d like an approximate idea of your purse’s value, you can submit as much information as possible to us (including brand name and model, date of purchase, serial number if possible, descriptions and photos) and get a ballpark evaluation of your handbag by phone or email within a day or so. However, for a formal appraisal and possible offer to buy your designer, vintage or antique purse, we’ll need to inspect it personally. The service is fully-insured and totally secure, and we even pay the postage both ways.
We’ll first authenticate your handbag to make sure it isn’t a knock-off, and then catalog all of the important factors in determining a purse’s value: the materials used in the design, its age, and perhaps most crucial of all, its condition – including missing stones, replaced or re-plated hardware, loose stitches, stains and discolored leather. We’ll also use our knowledge of the designer handbag secondary market to judge how demand for your purse will affect its value. Finally, we’ll deliver your appraisal, which will ideally include an offer to purchase your bag at the highest price you’ll find offered anywhere.
Luxury Buyers evaluates many high-end handbags every week, and we will treat your treasure with the gentle care it deserves, whether you decide to sell it or keep it.
What Are The Best Handbags To Sell?
Obviously, rare and antique handbags will always fetch high prices. But there are definitely some brand names which are likely to sell for a price close to what you originally paid. We’re particularly interested in appraising and buying your Chanel bags, Louis Vuitton bags, and Hermès bags (especially if you have Birkin bags or Kelly bags), as well as any limited edition handbags in your collection. Those purses typically retain most or all of their original value. Others which also fall into that category include Van Cleef & Arpels and Goyard. You’ll also find that bags from designers like Victoria Beckham, Alexander McQueen and Givenchy will bring higher prices than you would expect.
No matter what type of luxury handbag you own, we’re interested in talking to you about an appraisal. You never know how much cash may be sitting on the floor of your closet.
Six Words about Appraisal Values
Here they are: actual cash value and retail replacement value. It’s crucial that you know the difference between the two before you seek handbag appraisals.
Retail replacement value is the amount you would have to pay at a retail store to replace an item that’s lost or stolen, and the only appraisals which report that value are the ones done for insurance purposes. Actual cash value is the true value of your handbag on the open market, and is the number you’ll see on appraisals that aren’t being sent to an insurer.
Here’s a quick real world example. If you buy a Hermès bag at a retailer for $5,000, you’re going to want to insure it for $5,000 so you can replace it if it’s stolen. However, that doesn’t mean the cash value of the purse on the secondary market is $5,000; it might be worth $3,000 when sold as a pre-owned item. That’s the only number that really matters, because it tells you the true value of the bag. It’s important you can distinguish between the types of appraisals, so you’re not disappointed when you receive your handbag appraisal.
At Luxury Buyers we’re ready to explain more about the process, or to appraise and make the highest offer possible for your luxury handbag.